Interview by Natalie Kuchik
April 21, 2010
Estrella: Can you please state your name and what you do in the band?
Max: My name is Max and I sing in Say Anything.
Estrella: You’re on tour with Angels and Airwaves right now, how has it been going so far?
Max: They have been really good. It has been really amazing, we have been on tour for almost a month and this is the perfect support tour. It really feels like we are headlining sometimes because so many kids sing along and know who the band is. We are glad to be supporting, not only a bigger band than us which is nice, but a band that is nice and supports our band. We actually work really well as a team.
Estrella: Did Angels and Airwaves personally ask Say Anything to support?
Max: Yes, yes they did.
Estrella: Do you have any interesting tour stories or fan stories that happened so far?
Max: I cannot say that there is anything crazy that has happened but it’s definitely been fun.
Estrella: Have their fans been receptive towards your music?
Max: Yeah, they have been super receptive. I think that is the reason why we have had such a good tour so far. The crowd, they are going crazy so the people can tell who is learning about us for the first time is reacting really positively.
Estrella: Say Anything has four studio albums out, plus a bunch of B-sides, how do you choose the setlist?
Max: Well it is sort of hard, we have so many songs now. We just try to judge it by our history with the songs and what crowd we are playing in front of and what we feel like we will enjoy playing the most.
Estrella: Do you change it up a lot for each city?
Max: Do you mean on multiple tours, or on the same tour?
Estrella: On the same tour.
Max: Oh no, since we are doing a support tour, we find the right songs and lock it in and play it most of the tour. Just because it is hard to find the exact recipe for the perfect set when you are opening for somebody specifically. When you find something that really works you want to stick with it.
Estrella: You guys are going to play Bamboozle in New Jersey, what are you looking forward too?
Max: There are a lot of great bands playing, a lot of bands I actually want to watch this year. MGMT is playing which is great, Weezer is one of my favorite bands ever. As a music fan, I am actually pretty excited for it.
Estrella: What are your plans for once Angels and Airwaves tour is done?
Max: It is sort of up in the air right now because we are putting out a new single and we want to see what happens with the single before we make our next move in terms of planning what’s next.
Estrella: The single is “Do Better”, how did Say Anything choose that one?
Max: It was a song we saw that was connected with a lot of people and to be honest, even when we made the record we knew that would be the one. We knew it was that type of song as soon as we wrote it, even. We have been kind of waiting and we really believed in our first single “Hate Everyone” and it did really well. We saw it as an introduction to “Do Better” because “Do Better” is this really accessible song that sums up our band really well in a nice little package.
Estrella: Have you shot a music video for that yet?
Max: Not yet, we want to put the single out before we do the video.
Estrella: Your latest album debuted at #25 on Billboard, which was your biggest debut, did you guys expect that or do things like chart position even matter?
Max: It matters in the sense that I was really excited to hear that it did well. It is something where if it didn’t happen we would still have to enjoy the record and that we made a record we were proud of. We were fortune enough that our record has sold alright so far. It is kind of like whatever happens you have to stand by your actions and be proud of them and be proud of your record. When stuff like that happens it is icing on the cake.
Estrella: You have the Song Shop, is that something you will continue with throughout your music career?
Max: I hope so, I will keep doing them as long as people want them.
Estrella: Do you ever get writers block creating original songs for fans?
Max: For some reason I don’t get writers block when it comes to Song Shop. I’ve definitely gotten block when it comes to writing songs for Say Anything. Not Song Shop because they are so specific, it is hard to not know what to write about with someone telling you exactly what you need to write about.
Estrella: You have two side projects, Two Tongues and Perma are those also something you will continue with?
Max: Yeah, for Perma we have not really gotten a chance to start doing stuff yet. We have written a bunch of songs, but both our bands are super busy. Same thing with Two Tongues, even though we have already put out a record. People have been asking for Two Tongues to go on tour for a really long time, but both of those things will develop when we have the right space and time. I think in both cases and especially with Perma I don’t want to rush things. I already have a band that sort of arrests my concentrations and it’s a job that can be stressful even though it’s totally rewarding. When you choose to do side projects, you want them to have breathing room and be fun. If I was to force myself to do either one too much when I am busy with the other one, it would be stressful and that defeats the purpose.
Estrella: When it comes to Perma which is with your wife (Sherri DuPree-Bemis or Eisley), do you find it easy to work with her? Did you ever feel any hesitation to work with her musically?
Max: No, we work together great musically. Any time we actually sat down and kind of done it, we had a great time doing it. I feel no hesitations about doing it, it is just more so we want to take it really seriously and in a way we don’t want it to be a side project. We want it to be a project that we can do and put our full force into when we have time off. We want to actually put a record out and tour behind it and really push it. We think it is going to be pretty good.
Estrella: What is something you have always wanted to do but have not done yet?
Max: I haven’t really had a chance to do non-musical writing that much recently. I am a really big fan of writing other things like screenplays and I am a really big comic book and graphic novel fan. That is something I have sort of delved into and I want to throw myself into when I feel like I’ve earned it.
Estrella: Are you doing something with comic books right now?
Max: I have dipped my foot into the pool, but I am not fully committed to it yet. I cannot say it is going to move forward completely until I have more time.
Estrella: What is a song that you never get sick of hearing?
Max: I never get sick of any of my wife’s music (Sherri DuPree-Bemis of Eisley).
Estrella: Any song in particular you could play on repeat?
Max: There is a song on her second album called “Taking Control” that she does not like at all but I love.
Estrella: If you could see any band or artist perform any song live what would it be and why?
Max: I guess any song on Abbey Road by The Beatles.
Estrella: Do you have any final comments?
Max: No, just thank you very much and have a wonderful day.